I had a lovely time during the bank holiday weekend at a boat party in London with a great group of people. The morning started off pretty grey and uninviting but by the time the clouds broke it was a gorgeous summer day onboard and a fantastic way to welcome in the long weekend. And what a party it was! I think I’m still recovering for sleep now. 🙂
And what boat party would ever be complete without a Titanic moment!? None. Exactly 🙂 I fear I may have been more of a tipsy seagull than elegant swan perhaps, but it was such a magical moment at the front of the boat holding my arms out over the water with the gorgeous summer sun on my face and the river sprawled before me. Kate Winslet eat your heart out.
The cheeky nuggets are making the most of their last week left of the summer holidays, and although little Gabriele can’t request a trip to the park or a picnic himself, his big sister Millie gallantly does so on his behalf. How amazing, a telepathic five year old in the family!
Millie starts every morning at 7am with a crazy long list of fun ideas for the day and today she has requested a picnic in the meadow followed by paper-dolly making, as you do! She reminds me of a pinata bursting with enthusiasm and ideas, and every time she speaks they trickle out one at a time in danger of her exploding with excitement through sheer possibility overload. But it’s lovely to see and inspiring that she has such a zest for life at such a young age.
Gabriele is growing up and changing by the day and his vocabulary is coming on leaps and bounds. His most recent additions include “tick-tock clock” for which he points a chubby finger at the three clocks around the house and stiffens up his little legs and grins. He also says “up”, “cat”, “tea” and waves “bye” my clever sausage. He loves to feed people, animals and Millie’s dolls, and wrinkles up his little nose and smiles when you say “Good boy!” and he claps. To think that this tiny little person can understand so much at such a spritely age is fascinating. I ask him to put his nappy in the bin and he toddles over and plops it in and claps; my baby boy is becoming a child and the time is flying before my eyes.
As part of my continuous shopping spree to fit my new size I bought a pink casual summer dress to wear on holiday and have been hesitant to wear it until now. Firstly because it’s such a bold colour and I didn’t have a tan, and secondly because it’s been a very long time since I wore anything as daring. But nonetheless I told myself ‘you’re twenty-five, wear it while you still can girl!’ Since having Millie the week before my twentieth birthday I’ve consciously dressed down, covered up and tried to blend-in so as not to embarrass her or look like a young and reckless mother; yet in doing so I almost bypassed my early adult years and became too boring and withdrawn. Now I’m not saying I’m young and reckless now, far from it, but I’m actually being more my age and it’s refreshing. I look at other mothers my age and the things they wear and what they do and I can’t say I rival them at all, but I’m certainly more in keeping with my peer group now.
I was very shy as a child and Millie had seemed to be following in my footsteps up until she started school and suddenly my beautiful little girl flourished and came out of her shell with others and it was such a relief to see. I’ve always been a warm and welcoming person, but uncomfortable in my skin and social situations I guess. People either treat me really over the top or very dismissive so I’ve always walked on eggshells to please rather than offend others; and now I think how bloody ridiculous, why should I care about what others think of me if they don’t know me? Would they be so worried about what I think of them? Would it trouble them so much? Not a chance.
So long as I’m happy in myself, in how I behave and what I do then it makes no difference what other people think. You can only live your life once, be yourself and try your best and if people don’t like it then more fool them for not being a part of it. If I choose to share my thoughts on my blog then it’s for the whole world to see, if I post pictures of my children, food, fashion or myself on my social media profiles then it’s clearing something that I wish to share with all the people who I accept onto my profile. And if anybody doesn’t like what I say or do they have no reason to follow me or look.
When I came across this post on Facebook I couldn’t help but laugh and was so pleasantly surprised by the reaction that I received. At first I was annoyed that somebody had taken the time to write about me to an anonymous page to send me a message and then I felt pity for the person who follows my profile and looks through my things but can’t find the courage to contact me to air their concerns or better still remove themselves from my friends list if they don’t like me. Instead they chose to follow me and then moan about me, which makes as much sense as poking yourself in the eye.
I wondered what people would say or think, if they agreed or disagreed and if what I had posted on my profile had been out of order. But then I thought why should I be bothered? Girls post bikini pictures all the time, as do mothers, holiday snapshots, garden sunbathing or fancy dress parties, so long as you’re not exposing yourself and at the very least wear a bikini then there’s nothing out of the ordinary from what you would see on a beach. I’m not walking into peoples homes and sitting at their dinner table in a bikini in front of their children or at a wedding, my profile is private and only people on my friends list can see my posts so the content is controlled and by no means different to anyone else. And from that one post the amount of new friends requests I received was hilarious, the private messages of support put the biggest smile on my face and the comments of girls being jealous and support from men and women only made me feel even better and gave reassurance to my actions.
The internet is a funny place, where ‘trolls’ or people who hide behind anonymous accounts online in order to bully others feel the need to put others down through comments and posts but fail to do the same face to face. And this was a fantastic example of how it backfired and gave me a little ego boost to know that I have some fantastic supporters.
I would never dream of putting a girl down, or a boy for that matter. I spent my entire childhood being bullied for how I looked, I’m a mother and would never want my children to be bullied, and more than anything I know what it’s like to have body confidence issues and how nobody is every truly happy with how they look, so pulling that out in friends or strangers is a very sadistic and pitiful thing to do. If I see a girl who is attractive I admire and compliment her, there is no need for jealousy or bitterness, everybody is individual and everybody has something they like and dislike about themselves but it’s our own prerogative to deal with it how we like. And if my posting a sunbathing picture has mortally offended this girl then I would have hoped that she’d have either had the curtesy to write to me and say, or remove herself from my friends list rather than air it in such a public way which resulted in the publics support for me.
I couldn’t have asked for it to have worked out better on my part, but wish that people like this didn’t exist, that my children will not suffer in the same way and that the sun will be out today so that I can finish topping up my tan! With or without my pictures, posts and blogging, if anybody doesn’t like what they see they are always welcome to leave feedback, good or bad comments or hit that little ‘x’ at the corner of the screen as last time I checked I hadn’t forced anyone to do anything, but I’d like to suggest we all have tact.
I had a well needed catch up with some friends this week, a nice little lunch and an evening chin wag and it was just what I needed. It’s scary how the days click past and you suddenly realise you haven’t seen friends in months and have so much to catch up on. It was almost therapeutic to chew over the last couple of months and to see how different life is for me now; much like running a race, when you’re sprinting it’s tough, it can hurt and you don’t know if you can make it to the end, but when you reach the finish line you feel euphoric, you catch your breath and look back on what you’ve achieved. I realise I’ve crossed my finish line now and when I look back it was all just my sprint to getting to this point. Granted I can’t say my life is always this chaotic, but the hard part is over and it’s the glory walk from now on.
This week Millie returns to school at the end of the summer holidays, life returns to normal and I continue my journey forward as a single parent. I’m thankful for the time that I’ve had to find myself over this summer and to have reached a balance again in my life ready for the rat race of family routine to continue. Juggling life and parenthood to two young children alone isn’t a disadvantage, it’s an encouragement. There is no stronger influence to drive and motivate your independence than being a parent, to give your children the very best that you can and to always keep their best interests at heart regardless of the situation. I am an extremely proud parent to my two beautiful children, I thank my lucky stars everyday to be blessed with them and I shall spend every waking day making their world a brighter, safer and better place. I’ve spent their whole lives teaching them to have manners, grace and a kind heart and they are the sweetest little people I’ve ever met.
I’ve been sorting through the children’s toys and clothes to take to the charity shop and Millie melted my heart by saying how she hoped a little girl could enjoy wearing her summer dresses and shoes and how a baby just like Gabriele will love playing with his toys. Entirely precious and completely priceless. Love and beauty starts from within, by being a kind and thoughtful person and helping others in need, you raise your children by example and mould them with your actions. Something as simple as giving a charity donation of things you no longer need or use can help so many in such different ways; not only does the person receiving the goods have something they really need, but the hospice charity can continue their kind work in helping their patients through selling the goods to raise funds and my children have learnt a valuable lesson in giving to those in need and respecting and appreciating what they have. If we all take just five minutes to do the same we can make such a difference to so many.